Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska, a small railroad town in the southeast corner of the state, was the scene of Eugenia Louise Mason’s birth on 18 April 1918. She was the daughter of Charles Kirkpatrick Mason and Frances Elizabeth Wilson. Charles was born on 10 February 1893 in Vernon, Wilbarger County, Texas, the son of Charles Anderson Mason and Laura Ann Kirkpatrick. Frances, the daughter of Louis August Wilson and Cora Belle Gorg, was born 14 October 1896 in St. Louis City and married Charles on 9 May 1914 in Clayton, St. Louis County, Missouri. On 1 November 1918, Charles Mason, a railroad clerk for the Union Pacific Railroad, died from influenza, contracted from returning World War I veterans. Eugenia and her mother moved to St. Louis shortly after Charles’s death. Eugenia was baptized on 1 April 1923 at Kingshighway Presbyterian Church.

Eugenia’s mother, Frances, married Charles Henry Wolfsberger on 22 May 1923 in St. Charles, Missouri. An only child, Eugenia enjoyed traveling with her parents. Every year, they took her to Florida for six weeks, hiring a tutor to catch her up in her school work. At age seven, she traveled with her parents and great-grandfather, Louis Wilson, for three months by automobile. They stopped in national parks all over the western United States and motored all the way to Victoria Island, British Columbia, camping all but five nights during the trip. At age twelve, on 20 January 1931, the family sailed on the SS Munargo from Miami, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, for a vacation trip Eugenia talked about her entire life.

Eugenia graduated from Maplewood High School in 1937 with the name Eugenia Wolfsberger. Her graduation gift from her parents was a trip with a friend and a cousin to Colonial Williamsburg and other historical sites in Virginia, when it was still in the beginning stages of restoration and preservation.

Eugenia graduated from Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in 1940 as a registered nurse and worked doing private duty until she received a post-graduate certificate in anesthesia from Lakeside Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1943. She worked as a registered nurse anesthetist at both Missouri Pacific Railroad Hospital and Jefferson Barracks Veterans Hospital in St. Louis. On 29 December 1944, Eugenia was adopted by Charles Wolfsberger at St. Louis County Juvenile Court, legally changing her name to Wolfsberger. Eugenia married Elmer Albert Fagyal on 18 June 1949 at Kingshighway Presbyterian Church.

Eugenia was a member of Maplewood Assembly #6 International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, Meridian Chapter #442 Order of the Eastern Star, Olde Towne Fenton Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, and an honorary life member of St. Louis Genealogical Society. A lifelong volunteer, she gave her time to the American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Rainbow Girls, and the St. Louis Genealogical Society. She loved reading, learning, gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, and traveling. Eugenia died on 24 July 2016, at age 98, from a stroke. She was listening to a book about DNA at the time!

Written by Viki Fagyal
December 2019

© 2020 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Nurse Eugenia Fagyal
Nurse Eugenia Fagyal, 1940
Photo in the collection of Viki Fagyal
Used with permission
Eugenia Fagyal
Eugenia Fagyal, 1949
Photo in the collection of Viki Fagyal
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 25-Feb-2020 20:39